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Driven: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Image by Volkswagen.

Driven: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Need more room in your Volkswagen Tiguan? The seven-seat Allspace can provide it.

 



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Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Volkswagen stretches the second-generation Tiguan to provide a version with seven seats for the first time. It's called the Allspace, and although it's strong money and not hugely different to drive than a normal Tiguan, we still think this is an absolutely cracking mid-sized SUV that should feature very highly on your shopping list if you're in the market for a vehicle of this ilk.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace SEL 2.0 TDI 150 4Motion manual
Pricing: Tiguan Allspace from 29,370; SEL 2.0 TDI 150 4Motion manual from 34,690 OTR, car as tested 38,785
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: all-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door seven-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: 150g/km (VED 200 first 12 months, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 49.6mpg
Top speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
Power: 150hp at 3,500- to 4,000rpm
Torque: 340Nm at 1,750- to 3,000rpm

What's this?

The long-wheelbase Tiguan, which Volkswagen calls the Allspace, so you don't have to keep referring to it as an 'LWB'. An additional 109mm of metal is folded into the midriff of the Tiguan, while the whole SUV is 215mm longer from tip to tail than the five-seat version, all with the aim of getting seven seats - standard fit on every UK Tiguan Allspace - on board. Now, we'll start with a moan: the third row is tiny. Not just in terms of legroom, where these seven-seat (or 5+2, more accurately) mid-sized SUVs so often fall down, but in their sheer physicality. Sit in them as an adult of even average size and the head restraint jabs into your spine between the shoulder blades, while your knees are forced up around your ears. There's no way anyone over the age of 12 could sit back there for longer than a few minutes, even if the middle row of seats was moved forward on their runners.

Thus, the Allspace is for people who might have a couple of older kids and then a third or fourth toddler who can go in the back. On the other hand, you can look at the other benefits of the SUV as a family car, such as the simply colossal, Skoda Superb-esque amount of legroom for passengers in the second row if the seats are slid all the way back. Or the fact the Allspace has an almighty 700-litre boot in five-seat mode, rising to a van-like 1,775 litres with rows two and three folded away. Oh, and there's still 230 litres of cargo capacity at the back if seven people are sitting within.

Visually, the following signifiers identify an Allspace, over the regular SWB Tiguan: the radiator grille is taller and there's a commensurate broad horizontal line on the bonnet, in order to keep the whole vehicle looking proportional; the rear doors are longer; there's a kick-up to the lower window line as it heads to the rearmost pillar; and, should you happen to be on a motorway bridge looking down at it, then the Allspace has a ridged roof. Overall, though, we think the Allspace looks properly smart; the shorter Tiguan really needs R-Line trim to be at its aesthetic best, but the Allspace is handsome in SEL trim, so it seems the extra length suits the 4x4. Although 1,000 optional Habanero Orange metallic paint probably accounts for a lot of the Allspace's appeal...

Finally, this is an important product for this country, as the Tiguan is Volkswagen's third biggest seller, behind the Golf and Polo - more than 29,000 five-seat Tiguans were shifted here in 2017. The company reckons the Allspace will make up 15 per cent of all Tiguan UK sales (so about 4,400 per annum, going on last year's numbers), with more of an emphasis on four-wheel drive 4Motion models on the bigger variant than on the existing SUV. And Volkswagen reckons the Tiguan Allspace sales split will be skewed 55 per cent retail, rather than fleet, so it has a key role to play in populating suburban driveways with Volkswagen metal.

How does it drive?

Umm... rather like a regular Tiguan, only a little less handy in the bends but a tiny bit more comfortable for ride, courtesy of its stretched wheelbase and additional weight (it's about 100kg heavier than the five-seater). Therefore, as no mid-sized SUV really needs to drive like a sports car, the slight penalty in handling is more than compensated for by the Allspace's elevated comfort.

We think it's right up there with the best seven-seat SUVs, this side of full-on big boys like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. It takes less than five miles for the Tiguan Allspace to prove that it is judged to perfection in terms of its major controls - the steering is very light and lacking feedback, but it is consistent, accurate and trustworthy; as it was optional 200 Progressive Steering on this SEL we tried, maybe the standard set-up will be preferable.

Anyway, moving on. The six-speed manual throws about the gate with a slightly chunky yet pleasant feeling, while the throttle is calibrated superbly to make metering out this 2.0-litre TDI's 150hp and 340Nm a doddle, whether you're accelerating hard from a roundabout onto a dual carriageway, or ambling about the tight streets of a market town. This engine, by the way (predicted to be the biggest seller in 4Motion SE Nav spec), is more than capable of shifting the Allspace's 1,775kg bulk about. And it's also considerably more hushed and smoother than the (admittedly wonderful) Bi-TDI 240hp motor at the top of the diesel tree, so you won't need more grunt than this.

The long and short of it is that the Tiguan Allspace is so supremely assured and confidence-inspiring from moment one that you can't help but fall for its charms. With a lengthy kit list on the SEL - including eight-inch touchscreen Discover Navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and that gorgeous 12.3-inch Active Info Display TFT instrument cluster - bolstered by a few luxuries such as wireless smartphone charging (335), Vienna leather upholstery (1,615), Dynamic Chassis Control (810) and a tyre-pressure monitoring system (135), you end up with a family-friendly, luxury motor with proper four-wheel drive that costs less than 40,000. Sounds a lot, but that's about the going rate for this level of all-round talent, and a Land Rover Discovery Sport in equivalent spec would cost you more, yet not be as capable or any more spacious.

Verdict

The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is, as you would expect from VW, not the cheapest in its class. You'll get pretty much the same interior space and kit from the likes of the Nissan X-Trail or Skoda Kodiaq, while the physically larger Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento are about the same money. So if you've got older kids who need to sit in row three, they're going to eclipse the Volkswagen purely on terms of practicality.

Nevertheless, with such a cultured driving display, those crisp looks and a high-quality interior, it's impossible to ignore the Allspace. The Kodiaq is probably still the class leader because of its sheer value for money, but the Tiguan runs it close, because it's incredibly refined and beautifully resolved within. Think of it as a properly spacious five-seater that's considerably cheaper than an Audi Q5 or BMW X3 and it becomes even more compelling. The Tiguan Mk2, in all its various shapes and sizes, represents a huge step up in quality from the old model, and for that reason the Allspace deserves to be a success.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Passenger Space

5 5 5 5 5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 11 Jan 2018









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2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.

2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.2018 VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Volkswagen.








 

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